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Anonymous
April 25, 2005 11:46:13 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.vgaplanets4 (More info?)

Does anybody got a quantitative clue about the changes of the price movements of contrabands?
I have the feeling that not only the randomly fluctuation but also the mean price motion has been flated, right?

GFM GToeroe

More about : cb

Anonymous
April 25, 2005 11:46:14 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.vgaplanets4 (More info?)

Gabor Törö wrote:
> Does anybody got a quantitative clue about the changes of the price
movements of contrabands?
> I have the feeling that not only the randomly fluctuation but also
the mean price motion has been flated, right?

That is the conclusion that I have come to. Of course, that conclusion
is based on so little data that it is hardly reliable. Nevertheless,
it appears that contraband market no longer is capable of producing
nearly the return on investment that it did recently. In fact, given
the low returns in the current contraband market and the other ways to
invest MC in the game, I am beginning to conclude that the contraband
market has ceased to be a viable investment strategy, at least in most
cases.

This is too bad, because I think that having an investment option of
this type (choice to be poor now to be richer later) added an
interesting dimension to the game. I also liked the old market because
the additional income from returns served to accelerate the financing
-- and thus progress -- of warfare in the game.

The flaw of the old market was not that it was capable of generating
good returns, but that it did so every turn, reliably, and without risk
(unless some race was getting wiped out). I would have much preferred
a fix that preserved a long-term potential for good returns, but
increased the risk on a short-term basis.

For me at least, this loss of contra investment income is not going to
make me want to play races like the Feds anytime soon, who at least in
the past could make some money from the contra market.

-- Karnak Prime
Anonymous
April 25, 2005 11:47:47 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.vgaplanets4 (More info?)

Additional question:

As stated by Tim huge amounts at increasing prices could reduce the crime. Are there any results if this could be used to remove
the crime at reasonable rates?

GFM GToeroe

"Gabor Törö" <gfm@gtoeroe.de> schrieb im Newsbeitrag news:D 4jaag$o4i$03$1@news.t-online.com...
> Does anybody got a quantitative clue about the changes of the price movements of contrabands?
> I have the feeling that not only the randomly fluctuation but also the mean price motion has been flated, right?
>
> GFM GToeroe
Related resources
April 26, 2005 11:13:34 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.vgaplanets4 (More info?)

Exactly my opinion Karnak.

Since the last change there I see no reason to invest in contraband
market.
Ofcourse this also reduce the sense of the contraband lockdown and the
pirates cove.

It was good to remove the 95% win chance out of contra. This way is now
better than before. But I like to see the contra back in game.

An increasing volatility would be helpful. It would be helpful if a
price could hold a lower or upper level for +5 turns. I find it
reasonable that the price grow with the likning factor through all
races in the galaxy (ok, we may have to have an special eye on the Sol
and Holochips).

I know this is not easy to balance and as it seems its a long therm
issue.

Before it was a buy-low-sell-high-cashmachine. And now Tim pulled the
plug.
Both not the best solution.

My thought is that the contraband calculator should compare the actual
price with the likning in universe price. The deeper the actual price
is the higher are the chances that it will go up next turn. The amount
how much it will go up or fall should be determined in an other way, no
ideas whats doable. This way you can make say 8%-20% in average if you
are long therm investor but can not count on the next turn.

But just my opinion.

At least its better than before.

Thanx for your time.
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 11:43:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.vgaplanets4 (More info?)

I assume that there is always the problem that if the bigger random fluctuations are independent of the game and have a a
negative correlation to bigger fluctuations in the past. Then there is always the possibility to invest at almost no risk. The
common economic system in real life is that one always have values at risk. The are most of the time no arbitrages.

And if one tries to model the prices as for example a pure brownian motion then other problems may occur.

I ran in the past extensive sims to find out the distribution of the random fluctuations. What was ill there were the big jumps.
Price movements of more than +-50% in one turn are just unbalanced. And as there are twelve types of contraband the numbers of
good buys were too much.

Now Tim changed to the other extreme. I agree that it is at least better than before. And still if CB types exist with a high
total sum of "desire" compared to the rest then it could make sense in some situations to invest. But one have to estimate it
much more carefully if an direkt investment would not be better.

I'm not sure if the system suggested in earlier threads by me avoids this pathologies. At least there it would be so that if you
want to make a big gain then you must find an idiot who is willing to pay the price you offered. But for this there must be a
real demand for holding CB. CB then need an intrinsic worth, an inner value. And this implicates further modifications of the
code and so more time affords for Tim than changing some parameters in the existing code though I suspect that in the suggested
concept there is more fun, thrill and power than most of us assume. For example it would be hard to predict the global movement
of the prices if you either can't read the game or don't have enough information. And also one cannot expect the same price
overall developments even if the races and the settings are the same in two games as it always depends on what a player is
willing to pay, on what a player thinks about the advantage he gets if he pays for an amount of CB types at the given price.

I suggested Tim to develop a model which is based on a double auction market stabilized by a couple of virtual agents. There are
many mathematical papers out there which deal with this matter. One could make it so that even the deveoper of the system would
have no advantage from knowing the underlying equations. But I think Tim has other problem than to think about a market change
again. At least at this point of time.

GFM GToeroe


"Loki" <loki.net@gmx.net> schrieb im Newsbeitrag news:1114524814.299244.241160@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> Exactly my opinion Karnak.
>
> Since the last change there I see no reason to invest in contraband
> market.
> Ofcourse this also reduce the sense of the contraband lockdown and the
> pirates cove.
>
> It was good to remove the 95% win chance out of contra. This way is now
> better than before. But I like to see the contra back in game.
>
> An increasing volatility would be helpful. It would be helpful if a
> price could hold a lower or upper level for +5 turns. I find it
> reasonable that the price grow with the likning factor through all
> races in the galaxy (ok, we may have to have an special eye on the Sol
> and Holochips).
>
> I know this is not easy to balance and as it seems its a long therm
> issue.
>
> Before it was a buy-low-sell-high-cashmachine. And now Tim pulled the
> plug.
> Both not the best solution.
>
> My thought is that the contraband calculator should compare the actual
> price with the likning in universe price. The deeper the actual price
> is the higher are the chances that it will go up next turn. The amount
> how much it will go up or fall should be determined in an other way, no
> ideas whats doable. This way you can make say 8%-20% in average if you
> are long therm investor but can not count on the next turn.
>
> But just my opinion.
>
> At least its better than before.
>
> Thanx for your time.
>
April 27, 2005 4:38:05 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.vgaplanets4 (More info?)

Yes, you are right.
Perfect would be a order screen where everyone can put in his orders to
buy and sell at certain limits and than host calculates if your order
is filled or not. This combined with a natural demand of the universe
likning factor and straightened to a maximum amplitude of 50%.
Than you would not know if your order is done before you see it next
host and the one with bought at the highest price has the biggest risk
but may be the only one who have bought the contra and can win from a
pricechange.
Some virtual agents would also be very helpful.

But thats pure dream. It would need a comlete CB overhaul. This is much
too much work.
Therefore we should think how to bring contraband back in game without
much effort.

1. I found your idea cool Gabor that contraband should have some
effects on races and their abilities. Would not unbalance the game,
would bring contraband back in game, could (I hope at least) easiely
be implemented. I know, lot of work, but much less than an overhaul
and much less difficult.

2. Take the old model and multiply the the price acceleration with 0,3
or something.
Would be the compromise out of the 2 models. Should be better than now
and before and also quickly to implement.

But right now everything having to do with contraband has not much
sense.
lockdown, cove, ETs etc...

On the other hand I know that Tim has much more to do and his time is
limited, finally its his game. Please don't see it as critic but as an
opinion.


Loki
Anonymous
April 27, 2005 4:40:55 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.vgaplanets4 (More info?)

> At least its better than before.

IMHO it still can give reasonable profits, but over a longer span of
time. I find this much more interesting, since now you are more tied
to the type you invest in. For example I though Bots will go far in a
particular game, and invest in Kerrias with about 50K money. I'm still
getting 5% profit each turn for this investment, which is still more
than if it was invested in warships.
I have to disagree about the point of earlier contra trading speeding
games up. True, it gave people more cash to build ships. But since
your enemies could also do it, you would have to keep on investing, or
they would go past you quite fast. And to remember this is not a
1-on-1 game, but with up to 30 people the first one to attack would be
superceded by the rest. So the result was a "cold-war" type of
situation with everyone sitting the fence because it was most
profitable. And safe, people always put much more stock in solutions
that appear safe and non-aggressive.
Anonymous
April 27, 2005 9:01:14 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.vgaplanets4 (More info?)

Stonetroll wrote:
>I'm still getting 5% profit each turn for this investment, which is
still more than if it was invested in warships.

I think really that depends on the warship, how much it cost, what's in
the warship, where its headed, how long it will take to get there, what
kind of booty, prisoners, strategic objective will be gained by the
warship, etc. I can imagine many scenarios were the warship would
return much more than 5%. Also, there are many other investment
possibilities that could easily earn more than the meager 5%. To cite
a few random examples:

Building cities
Building farms
Building special race structures that make MC
Building ships with ship devices that make MC
Investing in colony ships to harvest valuable natives and contra
Investing in training centers and troop transport ships to go capture
MC, minerals, base structures and prisoners
Investing in economy-related technology and ET

>I have to disagree about the point of earlier contra trading speeding
games up. True, it gave people more cash to build ships. But since
your enemies could also do it, you would have to keep on investing, or
they would go past you quite fast.

The contra money got spent not just ship technology, but more
importantly, engine and hyp technology, so you could actually engage
your enemies in the early game, particularly on a larger map. Yes,
your enemies could do it, but that doesn't change the point that more
money in the early game means more engagements sooner, if for speed
reasons if no other. I'm not saying contra money helps you win, just
that it makes the game more interesting for me, because it accelerates
engagements.

>And to remember this is not a 1-on-1 game, but with up to 30 people
the first one to attack would be superceded by the rest. So the result
was a "cold-war" type of situation with everyone sitting the fence
because it was most profitable. And safe, people always put much more
stock in solutions that appear safe and non-aggressive.

In such a case, the first one to attack is not necessarily at a
disadvantage, if he can gain a substantial economic advantage while
attacking, e.g capturing prisoners to work in camps. But this does
highlight the flaw in the old contra system, which is that it was too
great a turn-to-turn investment. If it was more risky in the short
term, then it would no longer be "safe" as you described and players
would be taking a risk if they put money into the market that might be
needed in a turn or two to build warships or fighters to defend against
a fleet suddenly on the horizon or in orbit.

Having to make tough decisions about your economy/military is a large
part of what makes this game interesting. Under the old contra system,
the decision wasn't tough, because you had a low risk, high return --
if you had extra money, buy contra -- very simple. Under the new
system (at least based on my observations to date) the decision isn't
tough (IMHO) because you just stay out of the market and find someplace
better to spend your money.

-- Karnak Prime
April 28, 2005 12:02:05 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.vgaplanets4 (More info?)

Karnak Prime wrote:
> Stonetroll wrote:
> >I have to disagree about the point of earlier contra trading
speeding
> >games up. True, it gave people more cash to build ships. But since
> >your enemies could also do it, you would have to keep on investing,
or
> >they would go past you quite fast.

Strategically that is wrong for most races, even under the older hosts,
since some races will naturally, because of growth etc., have an
advantage above others and would undoubtfully bring in most cases high
growth races (races with high population) in the lead positions.As it
is and was you could invest into contra and wage at the same time war
on others.

> The contra money got spent not just ship technology, but more
> importantly, engine and hyp technology, so you could actually engage
> your enemies in the early game, particularly on a larger map.

Excuse me but in many cases, the money for this was gotten through
contra gathering and not contraband investing.

> Yes,
> your enemies could do it, but that doesn't change the point that more
> money in the early game means more engagements sooner, if for speed
> reasons if no other. I'm not saying contra money helps you win, just
> that it makes the game more interesting for me, because it
accelerates
> engagements.

For some races mrore than for others.


> >And to remember this is not a 1-on-1 game, but with up to 30 people
> >the first one to attack would be superceded by the rest.

A fine argument, for some races, who actualy gained more by contraband
trading then the others to just wait some more and to convince the rest
that it is not yet time to attack.

> > So the result
> >was a "cold-war" type of situation with everyone sitting the fence
> >because it was most profitable. And safe, people always put much
more
> >stock in solutions that appear safe and non-aggressive.
>
> In such a case, the first one to attack is not necessarily at a
> disadvantage, if he can gain a substantial economic advantage while
> attacking, e.g capturing prisoners to work in camps.

Well just mainly an argument for races which thrieve on prisoners - not
necessarily for the others.

> But this does
> highlight the flaw in the old contra system, which is that it was too
> great a turn-to-turn investment. If it was more risky in the short
> term, then it would no longer be "safe" as you described and players
> would be taking a risk if they put money into the market that might
be
> needed in a turn or two to build warships or fighters to defend
against
> a fleet suddenly on the horizon or in orbit.

Funny thing about this sentence is, that even if the money would be
gained on a turn-to-turn basis, unless you have the metals on the base
any defended base would not be able to file a strong enough fleet in
one turn (3 k fighter are not that much) (I am neglating a few special
cases).


> Having to make tough decisions about your economy/military is a large
> part of what makes this game interesting. Under the old contra
system,
> the decision wasn't tough, because you had a low risk, high return --
> if you had extra money, buy contra -- very simple. Under the new
> system (at least based on my observations to date) the decision isn't
> tough (IMHO) because you just stay out of the market and find
someplace
> better to spend your money.

That is how it actually should be, contra investment should only be
really profitable in some cases (short term).
And it was never intended that nearly all races are Criminal States,
but that is how it was (and if done right probably still is eventhough
it takes a little bit longer to get the same revenue and at slightly
greater risks)
for a long, long time.
!